TechnologyHow Outdated Software Can Put You at Risk in...

How Outdated Software Can Put You at Risk in Cyberattacks

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Using outdated software can expose your organization to significant cybersecurity risks. It is because older software versions frequently have known flaws that hackers can employ to access your systems and steal data. Like food, software has a “sell-by” date and eventually deteriorates with use. It can cause serious problems for businesses, including a loss of productivity and potential data breaches.

Malware

Using outdated software makes it much easier for cybercriminals to infect computers with malware, such as ransomware. These attacks can disrupt business operations and expose your company to significant financial losses. Cybercriminals target outdated systems because many users need to prioritize system updates. That means old vulnerabilities may be exploited using obsolete software, leading to data breaches and other security incidents that could put your company at legal risk. You could be liable for restoring customer data and any financial penalties regulators might impose. That is why following best practices for system security and regularly updating your software with WorkSmart is beneficial.

Loss of Data

Using outdated software and hardware is about more than just missing out on a few new features or a slightly faster program. It can also lead to security issues, including data breaches and productivity-affecting performance problems. Cybercriminals know that older systems may not have the latest patches and are more likely to be susceptible to attacks. They can design malware that targets these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access, steal sensitive information or install additional malicious software. Keeping software up to date, investing in cybersecurity solutions and educating employees can help prevent security incidents and reduce the risk of using outdated technology. Even with these measures, human error can still occur, and a cyber attack can be successful. That’s why it’s important to have backups and recovery procedures in place.

Loss of Productivity

Using outdated software that has reached end-of-life or end-of-support can have serious consequences. When a program reaches EoL, it stops receiving critical patches from the vendor that protect against known vulnerabilities. Hackers can exploit these flaws to attack your system and access your data. Like food, software has a “sell-by” date that’s not to be ignored. Putting it off can lead to expensive problems, including compromised security, costly data breaches and productivity-affecting performance issues. Even if it is functional, old technology can frustrate employees, who can’t embody their brightest ideas because of laggy applications and sluggish operations. It can cause lost productivity and can also impact morale. The longer a business waits to update its software, the more it risks losing money and a competitive edge.

Disruption

Cybercriminals know it will be easier to find exploits and target those systems when software is outdated. To prevent such attacks, a company should invest in security measures and keep its technology current. Many updates are also designed to fix bugs and performance issues. For instance, a slow computer may be annoying for a video editor, but it can significantly impact a business’s productivity and bottom line. Using outdated technology can also be expensive regarding reputational damage and lost revenue. A company should consider investing in cutting-edge security solutions and ensuring its staff and outside vendors use the most recent software systems to reduce these dangers.

Vulnerabilities

When a vulnerability is discovered in software, developers typically release patches through updates to fix the problem and keep users safe. Hackers can exploit software to launch a cyber attack when software remains outdated and fails to receive these updates. It’s estimated that businesses that keep their technology up-to-date could avoid 80% of all data breaches.

When software reaches End of Life (EoL) or End of Support (EoS), it will no longer receive critical patches. It leaves it susceptible to various problems, including malware, ransomware attacks and other vulnerabilities. These weaknesses are ripe for the picking of cybercriminals and can give attackers easy access to your systems. Moving away from unsupported products as soon as possible is a good idea.

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